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Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee (MoDREC)

The objective of MoDREC is to ensure that all research involving human participants undertaken, funded or sponsored by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) meets nationally and internationally accepted ethical standards. It should ensure that all policies, considerations, standards and safeguards as described or intended by JSP 536 and associated guidelines are applied appropriately, for the purpose of safeguarding the rights, dignity, welfare and safety of people participating in research.

The Ministry of Defence appoints two Research Ethics Committees to undertake ethical review of research funded by or sponsored by the MoD, including research involving the UK Armed Forces:

    • Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee (General)
    • Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee (Personnel, Protection and Effectiveness)
    These RECs are known jointly as MoDREC. They operate to standards set out by the MoD which are compatible with those in the Department of Health’s Governance Arrangements for Research Ethics Committee.

    MoDREC is recognised by the United Kingdom Ethics Committee Authority to review clinical trials of investigational medicinal products involving subjects who are UK Armed Forces personnel recruited in a military setting, as well as Phase 1 trials in healthy volunteers conducted by the MoD or its agencies or contractors.

    MoDREC is also recognised as an Appropriate Body under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for review of research involving UK Armed Forces personnel who are unable to consent for themselves.

    Research within the remit of MoDREC should be submitted to MoDREC for ethical review rather than to a REC within the UK Health Departments’ Research Ethics Service. Where research with a favourable opinion from MoDREC continues within the NHS or adult social care sectors anywhere in the UK following transfer of participants into their care, it does not then require separate ethical review by another REC
    Applications to MoDREC should be made using MoDREC’s own application form rather than the REC application form in IRAS. Visit the Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee (MODREC) section of the Gov.UK website for further information.

    For Details on the application process and the application forms please see the Apply for ethical approval for MOD research involving humans web pages.